The off-season has provided plenty of entertainment with talk of customer cars and squabbles over test drivers. But the winter is over, the testing is done, and now it is time for the teams to head to the first race and show their fans and sponsors what they have been up to...
Fisichella is being called upon to step up to the plate and lead the outfit; he is again placed alongside a young, rising star - but even if he has the potential to dominate newcomer Heikki Kovalainen as effectively as he did former teammate Jenson Button, the team will need both drivers effective, so he will also take on a mentor role.
From a financing perspective, it is little surprise that when Alonso left, the team lost their Telefonica sponsorship. Thanks, in large part, to the substantial notice period given by their star driver, however, they had little trouble lining up a solid replacement and will face 2007 with ING as title sponsor. The team are still running on a far tighter budget than most of their rivals, but they should be in a solid position to fight through this season.
The new car initially looks well conceived, though testing has shown that it is a little off the top pace - even if reliability is very good. This is fairly similar to the position the have held at the start of previous seasons: scoring well and consistently is the key to a strong season with the current points system.